The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has threatened national strikes over the recent review of railways by Sir Roy McNulty.
The news comes following a report from the ex-Civil Aviation Authority that more needs to be done to justify UK train fares, which are four times of that of their counterparts in France.
Union leaders, specifically Bob Crow, have pledged to resist an ‘assault’ from the review, which they believe will threaten jobs, pay, safety and services.
The union's annual conference in Fort William endorsed plans for a campaign against any cuts, with the possibility of a national strike ballot if need be.
General Secretary of the RMT Bob Crow said, “McNulty would leave no rail worker and no section of our industry unscathed. Everyone has a stake in this campaign and, if the Government decide to push on with the plans, we are making it clear that every worker will be balloted for action right across the rail industry.”
Crow was recently making headlines over recent tube strikes that disrupted transport to the Wimbledon tournament that was about to begin. In that instance a driver Arwyn Thomas had been dimissed and strikes were being held to reinstate Thomas.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, reportedly claimed that those strikes were ‘pointless’ and that Crow was holding the public to blackmail by specifically timing strikes which would affect thousands of tennis fans.
Three proposed strikes were cancelled when Thomas was reinstated.
Following McNulty’s report that operating costs of Britain’s train network need to be cut by 30% so as to bring it level with costs of other European rail systems, Bob Crow has said that train users are being ‘fleeced’.
Network Rail, the company that is responsible for maintaining Britain’s rail infrastructure; have seen a rise in profits recently, despite a drop in performance.
The company have seen an increase of £43million in profits despite the amount of times running on time dropping from 91.5% to 90.9%.
This rise in profit came after Network Rail reduced their costs by £400million, cutting 1500 jobs as well as reductions in wages by 1.5%.
The RMT insists it will work closely with other unions, politicians and communities to build a campaign of national resistance against McNulty’s review.
By Ben Malkin
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